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De la Torre appointed interim vice chancellor for student affairs


By Dateline staff

Adela de la Torre

Adela de la Torre

Adela de la Torre, an agricultural and health economist and nationally recognized expert on Latino and Chicano health issues, has been appointed interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs as UC Davis launches a national search for a permanent replacement for Fred Wood.

De la Torre officially assumes her new post Aug. 1, after UC President Mark G. Yudof and UC Regent Fred Ruiz, chair of the Board of Regents Committee on Compensation, approved the interim appointment Thursday (July 26). The action will be reported to the full board at its September meeting.

Her appointment is for one year, through July 31, 2013, or until the appointment of a permanent replacement. Wood, whose last day was June 28, left UC Davis to become the chancellor of the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

As interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs, de la Torre will manage more than 750 full-time equivalent employees and an annual operating budget of $657 million. The Student Affairs portfolio includes: enrollment services; academic support services; student housing and residential education; student health and psychological services; student life, campus community and campus climate; internships and career services; campus unions, bookstores and food service; Student Affairs development, commercial activities and related capital projects.

In filling the interim position, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi has said it was important to appoint a member of the Academic Senate who has the ability and credibility to negotiate and be effective on behalf of Student Affairs in conversations with the Academic Senate.

De la Torre, a professor, director of the Center for Transnational Health, and former chair of the Department of Chicana/o Studies, has both a personal and professional commitment to pursuing additional fund sources to support students and alleviate their debt. She has a long history of positive working relationships between faculty and Student Affairs staff, working closely with student activists during campus protests. She has earned a reputation for being effective at listening, balancing perspectives and helping to minimize tensions on campus.

De la Torre is an accomplished leader, having served in academic leadership roles in the California State University system, the University of Arizona and, now, at UC Davis. In the California State University system, she served as chair of the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies and was selected by members of the California State University system to serve a one-year appointment as a management fellow. In this role, she was involved in systemwide strategic planning, higher education legislative initiatives, enrollment and growth planning, and systemwide presidential and board of trustee meetings.

At the University of Arizona, she was director of the Mexican American Studies and Research Center. During her tenure at Arizona, de la Torre successfully developed the first graduate program in Mexican American Studies and founded the College of Medicine’s first federally funded Hispanic Center of Excellence.

At UC Davis, she has successfully generated more than $19 million in external funds to support educational outreach, recruitment, health education, and training programs. Most recently, de la Torre was awarded a $4.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture to study ways to combat obesity in children of Mexican heritage.

As interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs, de la Torre will receive an annual base salary of $235,998.

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